Leopard seal (Hydrurga leptonyx) head up, in blue water
One of the most curious beasts you'll meet in the Antarctic, the leopard seal has a unique appearance with a large head, speckled jaw and elongated neck. It is the only earless seal that will swim with its powerful front flippers. Most intriguing is its diet, of penguins, young crabeater seals, and krill, which it captures by straining water out of interlocking lobed teeth. Leopard seals will bite into inflatable boats. A British Antarctic Survey research snorkeler was killed by a leopard seal in 2003.
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